The annual French Quarter Festival runs through Sunday.
"It's play hooky day, also known as locals lagniappe day," Executive Director Marci Schramm said. "It's a great excuse to go to lunch and never come back, it really is."
She says the fest gets bigger every year. There are four stages open today stating at 11:00am, with more added tomorrow.
"What started as a neighborhood festival and 'locals' event' has grown into the largest free music festival in the United States," a news release says. "The 2013 French Quarter Festival hosted over 560,000 local and out-of-town visitors and had an economic impact of over $246 million."
This year's festival is highlighted by the return of Dr. John.
"Dr. John embodies the best of New Orleans' rich musical heritage, and in 2014, he returns to French Quarter Festival for the first time since 1987. This will be his only appearance at a major spring festival in New Orleans in 2014," officials said in a news release.